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The Solo Guitar Project- Volume 2   solo guitar vol 1

by Harvey Reid

released Spring 2010 as a digital download - now for sale as a CD! BUY NOW



1- Star Island Jig (H. Reid) First written and recorded in 1992 on the 12-sring guitar on the CD “Circles” this was re-recorded on 6-string and released in 2002 on the CD “Seacoast Guitarists Vol 1” put out by the Seacoast Guitar Society. It was then remastered and released in 2009 for the book/CD set “Wreck of the Isidore.” Star Island is off the coast of New Hampshire. This piece is one of the Esus partial capo jigs I play the most often, and is one of the only tunes that I am happy to play either on 6-string or 12-string. It is still very hard to play after almost 20 years. (T) (*) Esus FP

2- Magnolia Promenade (H. Reid) This was supposed to be a tribute to Merle Travis, though it got out of control, drank coffee, ate sugar and ran off with the circus. It became almost a Sousa march. It reminds me of the South, and since I used to live there, I feel qualified to occasionally write such a tune. This is now #4 in my series of such ragtime guitar tunes. It took its name during a walk under the magnolia trees on the Grand Promenade in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Sousa already wrote a march called the Grand Promenade I learned. [Standard tuning, tuned-1.] [Recorded: 4/6/98 York, ME DAT]

3- Norway Suite 1: The Waterfall (H. Reid) Essentially an exercise in chromatic runs, bathed in the feeling of the haunting Norwegian hardanger fiddle. I can imagine this being played on one, since they play with more sustain and less speed than most Celtic fiddlers, due to the resonant drone strings. Most Irish fiddle music is too fast for guitar I think. There is a large trend today among guitarists away from the use of fingerpicks, but I know of no other way to get the same drive and attack. There are almost an infinite number of waterfalls in Norway, more than there are people, they say. (*)(L) Asus +3. FP. (L) [4/5/00]

4- Norway Suite 2: The Fjord (H. Reid) Inspired by the amazing scenery around the fjord country, and a particularly blissful afternoon I spent playing guitar staring at the blue water and dramatic landscape. For some reason huge natural vistas make me think of slow airs and majestic, long notes. I should stop yearning for instruments like cellos, whistles and horns that can play those long, long notes, and remember that those instruments can’t play chords. (*)(L) Asus + capo 3. FP. [3/31/00]

5- Woodchopper’s Reel/ Jimmy in the Swamp (Trad.) Two of my favorite obscure fiddle tunes, transcribed quite faithfully from the fiddle and flatpicked with David Surette on rhythm. (T)(†)
6- The Lost Lullaby (H. Reid) I found this in a box of old dusty reel-to-reel tapes I had been meaning to go through for years. It was dated 1984, and luckily it was labeled with the tuning, since I don’t play in this tuning much, and might have had trouble guessing it. It was weird learning something from myself as though it was on somebody else’s record. I had no recollection that the tune ever existed, and it barely made it from the Realm of Lost Songs into the physical world. (LK12) Open G-2. FP. [4/1/00]
7- Five Cent Cigar (H. Reid) The third in my “series” of ragtime style guitar pieces. I always loved the sound of down home Merle Travis-style picking, though it seems to be an increasingly lost art and no longer the cutting edge of cool it was in 1948. Maybe it will just skip a generation. Standard tuning, C position. (T)
8- Above the Clouds (H. Reid) I have no idea what kind of music this is or where it came from, but it sure feels good to play it bottleneck style. It’s easy to think of slide guitar and the metal-body instrument as only suitable for blues. They can make sweet and dreamy music also. It’s a nice piece to play. In Open D tuning. [Recorded: 4/6/98 York, ME DAT]
9- For Whom the Bell Tolls (H. Reid) Somehow evokes the flavors of Spanish guitar, even though my only background comes from soundtracks of bad Westerns. Works well for the campfire scene, when the bullet-draped banditos challenge Dean Martin in a knife fight for control of the gang of outlaws. Also suitable for many Hemingway books. (†)(T)
10- The Minstrel’s Dream (H. Reid) A guitar solo of epic proportions, about the Awakening of Knowledge in the younger days of a minstrel, when he realizes that music is his calling. There are many levels of trickery in this tune, including a Third Hand Capo, a dropped tuning, and a lot of difficult, unorthodox guitar techniques. It is bravely presented here live and entirely unedited, without overdubs or splices. I'm pretty sure I did a totally perfect take of it just before this one, but I forgot to turn on the tape machine. That particular perfection belongs to the North wind now. The bagpipes stuff is done with two hands on the fretboard, Eddie van Halen style. This was the first of my faux-bagpipes pieces, written in 1984 after I got my first guitar with a pickup in it I was able to perform things like this that featured an amplified acoustic guitar that rang and resonated, It has probably not been played live since the early 1990’s. I think I got tired of people thinking I got the ideas in it from Michael Hedges, and it really pre-dates the whole celtic music craze. It is a very complex, difficult and sophisticated composition that wanders through dozens of sections several modes and tempos, and is very difficult to play. The drumming is done with two fingers on the top and bridge. (T) (*) Esus capo -110/20/86 BF (103)
11- Life is Like A Mountain Railroad (H. Reid) It’s always a victory when you can make an effective instrumental out of a song, especially when you like the melody a lot more than the words. This one is credited as being a traditional gospel song. “Life is like a mountain railroad, with an engineer so brave, we must make the run successful, from the cradle to the grave...” Like a Christmas carol, the verses get progressively weirder. I suspect a nice melody like this must have come from an older song, but I don’t know which. I usually play with a glass slide, but for some reason a heavy brass one spoke to me. Slide guitar & gospel music have a mysterious relationship. BF. Open D (D2) [4/12/00]
12- Minuet in G (JS. Bach) I recorded this on my first LP in 1982, and re-learned and re-recorded it in 2001 at the request of Apple Computer, who used it for the soundtrack for their popular iPhoto software. I have no classical training, and can’t read music, but am honored that I was able to do it well enough for this, and to be chosen instead of some real classical players they were also considering. It has a capo to brighten the sound a little. I think this is pretty much Sophocles Pappas’ transcription of Segovia. I’m not disciplined enough to play classical music, and always seem to change things, which you of course shouldn’t do. (L3)(BF)(Y) [12/17/01 (116)

(T)= 1984 Taylor 810 Rosewood dreadnaught guitar #3086
(T12) = 1988 Maple jumbo Taylor 12-string, serial #5460,
(D12)= unusual 1965 Mosrite 12-string Dobro (with only 6 strings)
(D1)= Early 70’s metal-body Dobro #0410
(L)= 1999 rosewood Larrivee model C-10 serial number #27236

(LK12)= 1999 mahogany Taylor Leo Kottke model, serial #990409140,
(D2)= 1996 round-neck Dobro Model 90 Deluxe, serial #B107696

BF= bare finger  FP= fingerpicks  (*) = partial capo used

No over-dubbing or multi-tracking was done. All tracks were played and recorded live with one guitar except #5 which has a rhythm guitar.

(T)= 1984 Taylor 810 Rosewood dreadnaught guitar #3086
(T12) = 1988 Maple jumbo Taylor 12-string, serial #5460,
(D12)= unusual 1965 Mosrite 12-string Dobro (with only 6 strings)
(D1)= Early 70’s metal-body Dobro #0410
(L)= 999 rosewood Larrivee model C-10 serial number #27236,

No over-dubbing or multi-tracking was done. All tracks were played and recorded live with one guitar.